Chez Kenzo mentaiko pasta

Honolulu Marathon: Where the carbs are

Elite and amateur runners from around the globe arrive in Honolulu every December for the Honolulu Marathon, taking place Sunday, Dec. 10.

Of the more than 33,000 expected to start the race, about 14,000, or 43 percent, are from Japan alone.

All those visitors are likely to be searching for places to load up on carbs before the race, and there’s no shortage of restaurant options, whether serving up Italian pasta or Asian noodles.

Here are a few options:

Arancino uni pasta

I’m a late bloomer when it comes to enjoying the wonders of uni, but the uni-topped spaghetti ai ricci di mare ($35) at Arancino di Mare is one of my favorites. Chef Daisuke Hamamoto is offering a special menu geared toward marathoners, available from 5 to 10:30 p.m. on the 8th and 9th. The menu features salads, pizzas and such pasta dishes as spaghetti alla bolognese ($24), his signature spaghetti alla pescatora with shrimp, clams, calamari and mussels ($34), penne arrabiata with shrimp, and much more. The restaurant is in the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, 2552 Kalakaua Ave. Call 808.931.6273.

Courtesy Arancino di Mare
Top photo is mentaiko pasta at Chez Kenzo, by Nadine Kam

Appetito restaurant

Over at the Ohana Waikiki East Hotel, the opening of Appetito Craft Pizza and Wine Bar could not have been timed more perfectly. The sister restaurant to Taormina Sicilian Cuisine on Waikiki Beach Walk, is located on the opposite end of Waikiki at 150 Kaiulani Ave., and will be open until 10 Friday and Saturday, serving its menu of light bites, lasagna ($17), and pastas with porcini cream sauce, or tomato-based pesto rosso ($16), pictured.

Baikokhen ramen

For those craving ramen, the Waikiki Yokocho Gourmet Alley in the Waikiki Shopping Plaza is a one-stop setting for five very different styles of ramen. They range from Tsujita, known for its combination pork and seafood broth; Bario which offers a thick tonkotsu broth and all the chili pepper and minced raw garlic you care to add; to the drama of Volcano Ramen, which comes to a boil under a red funnel that sends steam into the air, like a volcano. Pictured is the miso ramen with corn and a pat of butter at Hokkaido-basied Baikohken, hailed for its shoyu ramen. The Waikiki Yokocho is in the basement at 2250 Kalakaua Ave.

Nana Lu meatballs
A sampling of Nana Lu’s giant meatballs at The Street.

The Street, A Michael Mina Social House is hosting a Pre-Honolulu Marathon Carbo Loading event from 3:30 to 10 p.m. Dec. 8 and 9. For $25 per person, you can fill up on your choice of one of four pastas:
Spaghetti and meatball: Jersey crushed tomato and giant meatball
Fettucine Alfredo: With grilled chicken breast and cracked black pepper cream
Baked ziti: With house mozzarella, and grandma Nana Lu’s tomato sauce (vegetarian option)
Bowties with shrimp scampi and macadamia nut pesto: Plus basil and a tomato confit
Each pasta meal comes with a large portion of garlic bread and dessert of chocolate chip biscotti.
The Street is on the ground floor of the International Market Place, 2330 Kalākaua Ave., though it is streetfront on Kuhio Avenue.

Giovanni Pastrami pizza
At Giovanni Pastrami, Sean Morris and Kelly Simek prepare to take on the King Arthur Supreme pizza.

If it’s pizza you crave, there’s no shortage in Waikiki and beyond. International Market Place is also home to Flour + Barley, on the third floor grand lanai, known for its brick oven pizzas and upscale casual setting. In addition to classic pizzas, there are white pizzas with garlic cream sauce, and gluten-free crusts are available for an additional $4 over prices that range from $16 to $20. A couple of pizzas pay homage to flavors of Hawaii. The are the Aloha pie with Spam, smoked bacon, Maui gold pineapple ($19), and the kalua pork pizza with slow-roasted pork, onion, jalapenos, roated tomato, Thai sweet chili sauce and cilantro ($20).

And don’t let the name fool you, but Giovanni Pastrami on Waikiki Beach Walk is known for large 31-inch pizzas. It’s not exaggeration when these pizzas have names like Montague’s All-Meat Marvel and King Arthur Supreme (with red sauce, pepperoni, Italian sausage, salami, Portuguese sausage, mushrooms, green peppers, onions and black olives).

By Nadine Kam